Sunday, September 30, 2012

30% Chance of Rain

Another beautiful early Fall day - I started on my wifely duties: laundry, bathroom cleaning, etc., and he spread manure and mowed a little grass. Then he comes in and says, "let's go riding." Don't have to ask me twice!

We took the LQ trailer because last evening he had started working on the old gooseneck trailer - pulling out the rotting plywood facing in the rear. He had power washed the mats and the flooring and it needs to dry, really dry, before proceeding with any restoration process. This trailer is 23 years old.

We loaded the boys in, went to the LOMH because that is easily negotiated with a large rig.

We picked the fastest way to the Woodstock Inn, if there was more time after our late lunch we could choose a longer trip back to the trailer.

NFL football was on the menu, and some were dressed in the team of their choice. I got no dogs in this fight.

After lunch we headed back and a black cloud covered the bright sky. We stopped at the Park's rest stop and felt a drop of rain. Then another. We wound our way down the narrow trail to the main trail. It started sprinkling and we booted it to the bridge. My glasses were covered in raindrops and KC was giving it up, flawlessly. Then I saw a flash of lightning, then several seconds later the thunder.

By the time we got to the roadway it was starting to come down pretty good. The lightning also persisted. We stayed under the bridge during the downpour. Vehicles were passing overhead, sounding like a "burner" in a hot air balloon. The thunder was now behind us. KC was falling asleep, Skip was dozing, too. We waited until the rain had mostly stopped.

Again, we were the last to leave, locking the gate behind us.

It continued to rain, off and on, until around 10:00 p.m. Everybody spent the night outside.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Full Harvest Moon

Another busy Saturday, dawned clear and chilly. Sarah the farrier was scheduled to come out early, Max has his last day of Bad Dog University.

After all that was done, we went for a 'quick' ride for several hours at Annapolis Rock and crossing over Hipsley Mill. We didn't get lost, but misplaced a little bit here and there. In the end he knew the way to get back to the trail we needed to find the trailer parking lot. As usual, we were the last to leave the Park.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Window Treatment

Finally, he is staining the windows on the barn. Hard to believe that we stained the entire barn last October and has taken all this time for the weather, available time, and where-with-all to take care of those windows!

He'll hang them upside down to get an even wear.

P.S. What a great surprise when I arrived home from work - he had stained the stockade fence he built that runs from the property line to the corner of the house, spanning the drive way, shed and patio. It looks awesome!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday - Work on the Farm

We had so many things to do today, we decided it would not be a riding day. It was a glorious, sunny day and would have been a perfect day for a ride. But we had work to do.

He primed and painted most of the exterior of the house. I cleaned out the gutters and stopped by Todd's for another six bales of hay. We need to get a larger quantity of hay, but don't have the time to do that. Maybe next weekend?

Spent my day doing the house wife stuff: Laundry, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and a concerted effort to combat the stink bug invasion. I also found my keys, missing for over a month. I knew they were misplaced and not totally gone. Glad to have them back. Now I can't find my Wahl trimmer, and they all need to have that!

Yard work, straightening up the house, and playing with Max took up pretty much all day. A beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Ride

We had a couple things to do early at home, but rode later in the day out of Marriottsville and ran into two people on the trail at different places. We live in a crazy small world.


Palomino Paint gelding named Casey 16

Casey is from Pimlico Race Track, a 'pony horse' and is pretty good on trails and he rides alone frequently. Boards on Driver Road, does not have a truck and trailer. Has been a LOMH member for several years. Most everything he knows about horses he's learned from Clinton Anderson and RFD-TV. He has an English saddle because it fits his horse.


Gray Arabian Mare 21

She knew Diana, Richard, Nancy, Jane Huff, Maggie and several others. She used to board at Woodlands, but now also boards on Driver Road. Her husband pulled a bait-and-switch with the planned horse-life and now she rides alone and does not live on a farm. Sometimes you don't get exactly what you want, but you make do with what you have.

We hurried to Woodstock Inn for a very late lunch, getting there well after 3, and it started clouding up. We also traveled on a couple trails we haven't been on in several years, we didn't get lost. I swear I felt a drop or two, but did not announce it. We again snuck up on hikers out in the Park and while cutting through McKeldin there were several children that wanted to pet the horses. I can't say no, I know exactly how I felt when I was their age.

It started raining and we ducked into a Park shelter that KC was afraid of years ago. Here we are, standing inside with the rain hitting the roof. Down the hill came about a dozen riders on an organized trail ride from Misty Manor Farm. So many heels were not down, so I'm guessing there were not too many real riders among them.

We hurried back, running lots of the way back; after the initial rain at the shelter we did not get wet until we were untacked at the trailer.

We drove home in a misting rain, there was hardly any rain at home. Other locales got a soaking, but again we did not.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rainy Tuesday

Rainy day - we definitely needed it after the fertilizer and seed distribution over the weekend. It was a good soaking rain, too. During the day and then again overnight we got a total of nearly three inches.

I went out to hay the gang around 10:00 p.m. Earlier in the evening the breeze picked up and the patio was dry, but it was raining again for last call. I went out with my green and white striped umbrella. Lil Fred did not like it at all, he was hiding from me, peeking out from the overhang.

KC and Skip were in the shed, and didn't want to move away, but the umbrella was giving them a little bit of an issue. They knew it was me under there, and I had a stack of hay on my shoulder. They decided to stand their ground in the shed and accept the flakes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunny Sunday

Stats for Sunday's ride:

14.1 miles
28 mph fastest speed

Another marvelous Sunday - low humidity (almost chilly in the shade) blue skies and fresh horses. Saw lots of deer and some new sights, but never really, actually lost in the woods and open fields.

Perfect ending to a busy weekend.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday - Work, Work, Work

Max had class at Bad Dog University and I did go with April - we stayed in the car because it was breezy and chilly. After triple-digit weather high 70s feels cold!

After school he got the new spreader connected to the tractor and fertilized the entire pasture and then some. He then spread Orchard Grass pasture mix in all the horse pastures. After that he fertilized the yard that also included a weed preventive.

While he was doing that I was busy doing housework stuff (laundry and like that) and went over to Todd's to get 12 bales of hay. He does have good hay and everybody is happy with it.

The day flew by! Another Saturday in September bites the dust.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cat Door

Max wants to chase the cat, Irene wants to torment Max. An on-going dilemma, I want to be able to allow Irene in or out, without Max helping himself, too. She can make a hasty retreat and avoid injury, although Max has never hurt her, not once.

We are installing two of these doors, one on our bedroom door, the other on the basement door.

We're hoping that the installation of these 'cat' doors will make everything easier for all of us. Irene will be able to escape; we don't have to worry that we left the door open or closed. Air flow will be better, too. Win/Win/Win!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunny Sunday, and then a RUSH

Rode at Little Bennett with Tracey, she was riding Nina again.

The trails are pretty good at Little Bennett, but there were signs up that warned of 'conditions' after the June 29 derecho, washing out the trails to the rock base. The trailer parking lot had lots of trailers and we did meet up with riders out on the trails, too.

We had to leave by 4 to get home to deal with 'everybody' and hit the road again for the RUSH concert in Virginia. Traffic wasn't as bad as it could have been, as bad as it has been, so we were able to arrive before the show started.

What a great show it was, too!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dancing in the Dark

Max had to go to bad dog university, so didn't return until about 11:30 a.m. Tracey was riding at the LOMH, but we weren't' there, can she stay? What's for Lunch? We did make it to the LOMH to meet Tracey, but never did ride; the boys really enjoyed getting tacked up but not ridden, eating all the clover they could find while we ate lunch and visited with Tracey. No one else was there, we had the club to ourselves.

The sky got really black so we took off their saddles - and drove home in the splattering rain. It rained, but not that heavy, and certainly not windy at all.

However the weather reports were alarming - 'seek shelter immediately;' Tornado had touched down in Fairfax and another, but was not confirmed, in White Oak. Yikes!

The sky cleared and we were setting up for another spectacular sunset on Annapolis Rock. Honestly, this place is like Hawaii, but don't tell anyone.

While I was feeding: had Sprite in her stall and I was standing in Lil Fred's stall, I hear this weird sound, like something hitting the barn roof, but was muffled by the grain hitting Fred's feed tray. Lil Fred takes off in a cloud of dust, down the aisle at high speed and the boys are running in the field. The radio goes silent. I hear a truck screeching tires, braking down the hill while coming to an abrupt stop. What just happened?

I dump the remainder of Lil Fred's ration in his tray, closed him in his stall, put the boys bowls down in the aisle, run into the quiet house. The dogs and cat are there, but he's not in the house. Now I'm yelling, freaking out. What just happened?

A tree in front of our neighbor's house fell onto the roadway, bringing all the lines down with it, splattering on the road, spanning from guard rail to guard rail. The lines were intertwined in the Oak, which appeared to be a healthy tree.

When the power went out, Tom had looked outside to see the lines in front of our house swinging and swaying; he ran outside while I was running inside! He called the power utility, reporting the outage and then 911, reporting the road closure.

The power was out from around 6:45 to about 11:30 p.m., but the road was closed until closer to 1:00 a.m. He got the Honda 2000i Generator hooked up, running the fridge, computer and a couple interior and exterior lamps. The responding police officers closed the road with police tape and flares. The utility's workers showed up to restore power around 9:30, but the highway crew showed up with chain saws, and then the Gradall cleared the debris out of the way after midnight.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

Another gloomy, seriously high humidity day, but we chose to ride! We wanted to stay close to the trailer or some kind of shelter, so we chose the Ag Park! Our old stomping grounds, a great stand-by. We spent most of the time 'laboring' with unkempt trails.

Some of the trails have fallen into disuse, but the June 29th derecho also left its mark in the woods. The humidity was enough to flatten you to the ground.

When we boarded the boys on the edge of this park we had made so many trails but no one would use them, just us. When we bought the farm there was no one at Millhaven that rode to the water fall or the McDonald's at the AirPark or Redland Middle School. All those trails are now lost to vegetation growth and downed trees. There is so much park land not utilized, it is a crying shame. At one time we had mapped out 12 hours of riding, you couldn't ride it all in one day, now sadly lost to disuse and obstructions.

There are so many other destinations we ride that we can't devote time/energy to keeping trails that only the two of us will sometimes use.

Department of Natural Resources wants everybody to log in their hours of volunteer trail maintenance, but 'people's choice' trails don't count, only park-sanctioned trails, like the Belgian Loop; the hours we spent laboring on these trails don't count.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

First Sunday in September

The weather continues to be gloomy, with the Sun peeking out from time to time. But no rain. The weatherman is cramping my style. We decided to throw caution to the wind and go riding instead!

On Sunday we checked out two parks that allow riding. The first is Friendship Park Farm Museum. A small gem between large tracts of farm land. The house is an historic home that was on the National Pike, a way station on the Pike that went all the way to St. Louis, Missouri.

The trail is a three-mile loop through woods and some meadows, planted with soy beans or corn. Also featured is a large metal barn with a farm equipment museum.

The woods trail had recently been bladed off, which made some of it slick, even at the walk we were sliding in the Maryland brown clay. I don't know what the plans are for improving the footing, but bringing a large hay wagon through these woods is going to be interesting if it is wet.

After that we trailered over to Schooley Mill Park. We have never ridden there, but have passed it too many times to count. Back in the day I field boarded my mare on the corner. The park did not exist at that time.

The riding is nice, but not more than two hours of trails, mostly in woods, but some open fields. The park does have a really big sand arena, a great sand round-pen and a large field with permanent jumps.

It never rained.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

1st of September

It's always about the weather, and the weather people were predicting gloomy skies and thunderstorms throughout the day. Unfortunately we accepted their predictions and they were wrong.

Instead we spent the day running errands for the pond work at our old house. Sadly I never saw my favorite Koi, Zorro, the entire time we were there. I've had him since March 1998 and will miss him terribly.

We started our day at Lilypons to buy a pump for the pond.

Lilypons is a 'town,' or at least it is a U.S. Post Office, that was named after a 1930's opera singer named Lily Pons. Lilypons is a bright pink Victorian-style house with several additions.

On the expansive acreage is ponds, lots of ponds, with all kinds of water plants sold at exorbitant prices. They also sell Koi and other hardy pond fish; we have a few from them that we bought in 1989. These fish are like children to us and is one of the reasons we couldn't part with our old house.

While there we saw 'Dock Dogs' competitions and the daughter of our instructor at Bad Dog University (P.U.P.S.).

We had just missed her go at the event. We stayed long enough to realize that Max would be completely suited for this, as long as we get him graduated with honors from his school.

We then went to a BigBox pet store for more supplies. Lilypons does sell this equipment, but is seriously over priced. After that we went to the house, started assembling the new stuff and realized we needed more stuff. On to the another BigBox pet store, then back again.

The prognosis is good for the remainder of the fish. We've lost maybe 10 fish so far, and these are big Koi, the size of Beagles. Some we've had over twenty years.

The weather continued to look threatening rain all day, but never had a single drop.